I have an Apple Airport Express wireless router for about 3-4 years now and so far have had no problem with it. I have two laptops, an Apple and a Dell and both seem to do fine on it. I got the Express one because it is only slight larger than a deck of cards. It also does not have the range that the regular Airport one does but I am rarely more than 75 feet from it. If I remember correctly the Airport one has a range of like 300 feet. BTM.
I started out with a linksys basic wired router... Probably 5 or more years ago. Then I went to a wireless linksys router when the first one died. Then I went to another wireless linksys router after that one died.
Then I got sick of linksys when there tech sent me to the store to return a dead router, and gave me a product number for another router that didn't exist.
So I got a netgear router with "7 internal antenna's". That was the worst router I ever owned. Finally got so sick of it dropping our various laptops and having to reset it 3 times a day that I bought a Belkin. Figured I can't go wrong.. Spent like $150 on the damn thing.
Big mistake. That router lasted a few more months, but it's wireless range was horrible, and I had to keep resetting it as well..
Now I'm finally back to a linksys Wireless G router. Its been alright, but I do need to reset it every once in a while.
I'm pretty sure I missed a few routers in there somewhere.. I'm looking around my room and writing about the ones that I see sitting there. Haha.
I guess I kill routers so much because my internet is at 100% usage 100% of the time.
Alrighty, first off, Cisco is dropping the Linksys name in case anyone didn't know they were one and the same. So newer stuff will be in Cisco boxes.
Secondly, Cisco/Linksys is the best follwed very closely by Netgear. Belkin isn't a bad brand either. Beyond that I wouldn't trust anything.
Now, as for range. Your basic wireless router puts out in the neighborhood of 8 milliwatts of RF power and any OEM firmware update won't change that. You have a couple options for increasing the range. First is to replace the stock dipole antennas on the thing with the longer 7db antennas. The second thing you can do is if you're good, look at a hackers firmware for the router such as http://www.hyperwrt.org/ which gives you the ability to up the output power.
I presently have my AP in the basement and have it putting out 28 milliwatts and get a range of about 700-800 feet easy which is like 2 houses away.